by Tony on 11/12/10 at 12:05 PM ET
We fans are a fickle bunch, aren’t we?
Things aren’t going well in Penguinland nowadays, that much is fairly obvious. Remedies are coming in from all directions: It’s the goaltenders, it’s the defense, it’s the lack of offense, it’s the coaching, it’s the ice. Hell, I even heard one guy on Pittsburgh sports talk radio yesterday blame the Penguins’ struggles on the “cushy” facilities in the new barn.
One group that is getting a portion of the blame particularly caught my eye though, those being the defensemen.
Isn’t it interesting how selective a sports fan’s memory can be sometimes?
While these guys are only two of the seven regular defensemen that HCDB has employed thus far on the Penguins’ blueline, Paul Martin and Zbynek Michalek have gotten the lion share of the headlines since their free agency signings with the Penguins on July 1st. They didn’t come cheap, costing the Penguins $5 million and $4 million per year, respectfully.
Both Martin and Michalek were brought in to shore up what was thought of as a subpar set of defensive defensemen. The Penguins had more than their fair share of offensive defensemen in Sergei Gonchar, Alex Goligoski and Kris Letang, but that left them relatively weak in their own end.
However, after a whopping 16 games with their new team, with their new system, calls for their heads have commenced.
Damn, now where have I heard that before?
Oh yeah, now I remember. Remember when the Penguins signed some Russian dude named Gonchar to a big ‘ol 5-year contract with a $5 million cap hit?
And more importantly, remember how lousy Gonchar played that first year with his new team, with the new system? Let me remind you then, it was ugly at times. There were MANY nights at the Igloo when Gonchar would get booed bringing the puck up ice.
And it wasn’t just the fans. On Jan. 15th, 2006, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Hall of Fame writer Dave Molinari called Gonchar “the poster boy for free-agent flops”.
Gonchar is gone to Ottawa now of course, but if I remember correctly, things turned out OK with ‘ol Sarge. You know, the guy with the torn MCL after yet another cheap shot from Alex Ovechkin, that came back to play in the same series to beat the Caps, not to mention help the Penguins win a Cup.
My point? Give the newbies some time, this time, will ya?
Add a Comment
Please limit embedded image or media size to 575 pixels wide.
Most Recent Blog Posts
About The Confluence
Welcome to The Confluence, a Pittsburgh Penguins blog since 2006.
Originally at Blogspot, then at MVN, TheConfluence has over 1500 articles reporting Penguins news as well as jumping on my soapbox to opine constructive Penguins criticism.
I am blogger- credentialed with the Pittsburgh Penguins. My posts are regularly linked by hockey websites such as the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pittsburgh Tribune Review, Yahoo!‘s Puck Daddy, and I’ve done numerous guest blogger spots on such websites asthe New YorkTimes. I am a retired U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer.
If you’d like to follow me on Twitter-